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Stone Bake’s Guide to Wood Fired Bread

Bread has always been a customer favourite to bake in their wood fired ovens. The secret to getting the perfect loaf is by making sure you have a suitable baking environment. We want to help you achieve this environment and also give you some simple tips and tricks to perfect the art of baking bread in your wood fired oven. We’ve also included some scrummy bread recipes for you to try!

Bread wood fired oven

Baking Bread Environment

When baking bread in your wood fired oven, you will firstly need to fire up your oven to its optimum temperature as usual. Make sure that you achieve a fairly aggressive fire to ensure excellent heat retention for the duration of your bake.

You will then need to allow time for your oven to cool down. We recommend a temperature of 100°c to 180°c for bread baking. You will also need to remember to dispose of any embers in your oven before you bake your bread.

  • Stone Bake Tip: An ideal time to bake bread would be after you have been cooking a meal in your wood fired oven. This way it is already cooling, so you are making excellent use out of it.

Cooking bread in your wood fired oven

Once your wood fired oven is at the right temperature and your loaves are ready to be baked, place them directly onto the oven floor, as you would a pizza. Pop the oven door in place, ensuring you keep it there for the first 2-3 minutes of baking. This makes sure your bread gets the all-important crispy crust.

After the first 3 minutes of baking, remember to occasionally rotate your loaves. However keep in mind that when you are doing this it will reduce the oven temperature, so try to do this process fairly swiftly.

Finally, when checking to see whether your bread is cooked all the way through, always keep an eye out on the colour and temperature. A good indicator of whether your bread still needs time to bake is to tap the bottom of the loaf in the center. If the loaf is cooked right through it will sound hollow inside, if not it will sound dense.

  • Stone Bake Tip: Always be aware that if you are baking your bread at a high temperature, your loaf will quickly get more colour, however it may not be cooked through. If you need to quickly reduce the temperature, simply open the oven door.
  • Stone Bake Tip: To achieve a glorious crispy crust on your loaves you can even create steam. All you have to do is spray some water towards the center of the dome. Alternatively if you don’t have a spray bottle, you could always put 2 ice cubes in a separate ovenproof dish whilst your oven is at baking temperature. When the steam starts to build you can then put the oven door back into place.

Our Favourite Bread Recipes

This post of course wouldn’t be complete without including a couple of bread recipes. Whether you prefer plain bread, sweet or savory- we’ve included something for everyone.

Classic Bread Recipeno-knead-crusty-bread-3

What you’ll need

  • 400g strong white bread flour
  • 40g soft butter
  • 12 sachets of fast action yeast
  • 2tsp salt
  • 300ml warm water
  • Olive oil

Method

Put the flour and butter into a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast to half the bowl, the salt on the other side. Stir all ingredients until they are combined.

Once combined add in half of the water, mixing with the tips of your fingers. Continue to add the water until your dough has formed a soft dough, but not sticky or soggy. Keep mixing until a rough dough ball is formed.

On a lightly oiled surface knead your dough for around 5 minutes or until it is smooth and stretchy. When your dough is ready you will need to pop it back into a large bowl. Cover with a damp tea towel or lightly oiled cling film and leave it for one hour to prove.

Once your dough has doubled in size you will need to knead it for a few more minutes on a lightly floured surface to get rid of the air. Once you have done this mold your dough into a round loaf shape.

Then place your loaf onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Again cover your dough with a damp tea towel and leave to prove in a warm place for another hour.

Next you will need to follow our instructions to creating the perfect bread baking environment in your wood fired ovens, as written above. Simply sprinkle the top of your loaf with some flour and once your wood fired oven reaches around 180°c you can then place your loaf directly onto the cooking floor or in an ovenproof dish. Bake for around 25-30 minutes, or until your bread is golden brown on top.

Sun Dried Tomato and Olive Breadsundriedtomatoandoli_66043_16x9

You’ll Need

  • 170g Greek Olives
  • 55g Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Method

Following the same recipe above, after your dough has had its first proving you can then add in some extra ingredients to give a savory twist to your loaves.

You will then need to divide the dough into two, adding half the olives and sun-dried tomatoes into each. Knead the dough for another few minutes until you have got rid of all the air and the ingredients are evenly dispersed.

Once you have done this mold your dough into round shapes and press down. Sprinkle some flour over the top, making a cross down the middle of both. Pop them onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and prove for one hour in a warm environment.

Pop them into your oven when the temperature is around 180°c. Bake for 25- 30 minutes, or until your loaves are golden brown. Leave on a wire rack to cool, and then all that’s left is to enjoy your fresh wood fired bread.

Cranberry and Walnut Bread

If you have a sweet tooth then why not try our Stone Bake cranberry and walnut bread? It’s the perfect balance of sweet and savoury with fresh flavours. You can find the recipe on our website here.

We hope that we have inspired you to get baking bread in your wood fired ovens Stone Bakers. Be sure to share with us your favourite bread recipes, along with pictures and recipe details. We would love to feature them on our website under our ‘Guest Recipes’ section. Email us at info@stoneovenco.co.uk.

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If you are interested in our residential oven range, visit our PrimoMezzoVento and Gusto pages for prices, information and technical drawings. Please don’t hesitate to contact the team on 0845 834 0252 should you have any further questions.